Empower started, as many enterprises do, as a half-baked dream tossed around in off-moments between three passionate polers who met while dancing and teaching at a small pole studio in Lethbridge, Alberta: "What if, one day, we were able to build a studio of our own?" Of course, Lethbridge is a small city and only able to support one pole fitness studio, so it seemed doubtful that the dream would ever become a reality.
Fast forward to March 2020. COVID-19 is sweeping the globe and entire nations are closing everything from boutiques to borders. Alberta was no exception. It was during this first lockdown that the idea of Poledemic was born. The purpose of Poledemic was to provide a safe place for our existing students to come together and escape the turmoil of the world through online pole classes and fellowship. It was in running these virtual classes that we discovered how much we really loved building our own lesson plans and connecting with our students in our own way. After our Poledemic experience there was really no turning back and we began to transform our Dream into a Goal.
In September of 2020, changing circumstances encouraged us to to escalate our Goal into a Plan. An amiable transition was arranged with the owner of the previous pole studio and the real work in forging Empower began. After weeks of perusing listings on every real estate website known to man (and possibly a handful more), we came across an undeveloped bay in the Historic Oliver Building in Lethbridge's downtown core and were immediately smitten. The lease was signed, renovation designs and possession date were finalized, and the real work began.
After months of (tedious) logistics and paperwork, online classes were launched in mid-January 2021. Our team (and their wonderful partners and family!) put in many late nights and gallons of sweat equity to bring the space to life, and the countdown to Opening Day began... and continued... and was postponed... and began again...
COVID, eh? After numerous delays due to rising numbers and increased safety measures, we were *FINALLY* able to safely open our doors for real in July 2021. Trust us when we say there is no rush quite like seeing students take their first spin after six months apart! There may have been tears involved (there were definitely tears involved).
IT'S BEEN A WILD RIDE TO GET TO THIS POINT, AND WE EXPECT EVERY DAY WILL BRING NEW AND EXCITING ADVENTURES TO OUR CHROME-Y HOME. WE CAN'T WAIT TO SHARE THOSE ADVENTURES WITH ALL OF YOU!
The Historic Oliver Building
The Oliver Building was first constructed in 1906 by then-alderman and four-time mayor William Oliver. A full century later, and after sitting vacant for the majority of those years and falling into disrepair, it was finally purchased by Hegnberg Ltd. in 2016. This purchased saved the once-beautiful old building from demolition.
The renovations commenced immediately and by 2019 a number of the bays were already rented out. The last bay, #318, was destined to become the home of Empower Pole Fitness.
With its original brick-and-plaster feature wall, exposed ductwork, and 110-year-old hardwood floor, Bay 318 of the Oliver Building is the perfect mashup of turn-of-the-century architecture and industrial chic. It's the sort of space that is simultaneously comfortable and invigorating, and we immediately knew it was destined to be our new pole home.
Our studio features a comfortable entryway with a privacy wall dividing the dance space from the main entrance. The 1900 square feet is shared between pole space and an open area for floorwork. The floorwork space also features ceiling mounts for aerial silks and hammocks. Our space is fully wheel-chair accessible and possesses barrier-free facilities.